By Ryo Isobe, FLEACT Yokosuka Public Affairs
SASEBO, Japan (Oct. 20, 2016) － Ship Repair Facility and Japan Regional Maintenance Center (SRF-JRMC) Yokosuka corporate communications team visited the command’s Sasebo detachment to conduct multi-cultural training. The training was given to Japanese, U.S. military and civilian supervisors.
Inspired by employees’ requests, the training was established to encourage understanding and respect for cultural diversity, provide suggestions on how to manage differences and increase productivity.
“I think the training was very good, because it was mainly focused on educating the U.S. [personnel] on the Japanese culture,” said Cmdr. Daniel Kidd, the Sasebo Det. Officer in Charge. “And I would like to have more of the pieces on how we educate Japanese employees on American culture.”
The sessions elaborated on cultural differences, how they arise and how to cope with the differences. For example, presentation scenarios highlighted where Japanese are inclined to be group-centric thinkers; Americans, individualistic.
The training facilitators said they were aware of the risks of over-generalization when developing the training. But they said it was still important to provide a learning opportunity to the workforce.
Alicia Akashi, a supervisory command hotline coordinator who spearheaded the training, explained that this training would provide an internal venue to observe and discuss possible outcomes on work performance in cases where such differences are misunderstood.
“Depending upon the perceptions or perspectives of individuals, it may differ,” said Akashi. “However, we think we should be aware of the differences and make ourselves[a] more productive team.”